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October E-Magazine 2021

In this edition of E-Magazine we have:

  • The Best Sermon I've Seen in Ages

  • Harvest Festival at St Nicholas

  • Harvest at St James

  • Wreaths and Gossip

  • October Events

  • Labyrinth of Lights

  • Mother Union

  • Christmas Cakes

  • Comedy & Carols

  • The Season of Invitation

  • Christmas Tree Festival and Trail

  • Services Throughout the Parish

  • Morning Prayer in Yate

  • Compline at 8pm

  • DailyHope Phone Line details

For a full printable magazine click the file below

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The Best Sermon I’ve seen in ages

There was a massive amount of excitement in our house in the summer because at 6pm on 15 July, Iron Maiden were releasing their new music video called ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’. So who are Iron Maiden? If you’ve never heard of them, they are a British heavy metal band who have been playing since the late seventies. I fell in love with them when I was eleven and by some strange mistake the BBC played their video ‘Can I play with Madness’ on Top of the Pops. All through their career they have written songs about history, literature and Christianity. I even read the book of Revelation aged 11 inspired by their ‘Seventh Son of the Seventh Son’ Album. Nearly all of their music is about an epic battle between good and evil, exploring ideas about justice, death and meaning. I even wrote my Masters dissertation on Heavy Metal and church services. So what has any of this got to do with the best sermon I’ve seen in ages? Basically, because the Iron Maiden song ‘Belshazzar’s feast’ is a sermon based on the book of Daniel, as in Daniel in the lions’ den. The book of Daniel is part of the apocalyptic stories in the Bible set not in Israel but in Babylon. First a recap on the Old Testament. In the book of Exodus, the Jewish people are freed from slavery in Egypt and taken to the Promised Land of Israel. They are given the Ten Commandments and told that they will possess the land if they keep the commandments. Then in Joshua they conquer Israel and in the books of the prophets, Judges, Samuel, Kings, they break all the commandments. Right at the end of the book of Kings Judah is conquered by the Babylonians and the educated Jews are taken as slaves. Daniel is one of these slaves. At that time Babylon was the strongest empire in the world and their Emperor Belshazzar was the most powerful man in the world. He was addressed as ‘King Live Forever’.

In Daniel chapter 5 Belshazzar holds a feast which gets a bit racy, and everyone is drunk. He calls for the gold cups used in the Jewish temple to be brought to the feast and they mock God by drinking from them. Then a disembodied hand appears and writes on the wall. When the king sees the writing, he is so scared his legs give way. (If you read Hebrew, something else gives way too). Nobody can understand the writing except Daniel who is called in and gives the meaning. He tells the king that very night his kingdom will be taken away from him. That is exactly what happens: Darius the king of the Medes conquers Babylon and the King who thought he would live forever is killed. This is the basis of the phrase ‘the writing is on the wall’.

Iron Maiden do a great sermon on this passage as they take modern world leaders like Trump, the King of Thailand and the UK government and cast these men going to Belshazzar’s feast. Because of the corruption of these leaders the world is polluted and unjust. It seems that these men have total power and that evil and corruption is triumphing under their power. Then suddenly they lose all their power and their empire is destroyed. This is how we should understand biblical stories, not as things that happened in the past but as a way of understanding the present. Daniel was the only one who could read the writing on the wall, because he had a close relationship with God. Today, we are called to understand the world around us through biblical stories. Belshazzar’s feast hasn’t just happened once, it happens all through history. The powerful think they will live forever and then their power is broken and goodness returns.

In the Iron Maiden video, it’s the band’s icon Eddy who saves the people from the corrupt rulers. This might disappoint some Maiden superfans but Eddy isn’t real, but the God of Israel is. This story is one of hope in the face of adversity. Over the last few years, the world has felt extremely chaotic and scary. It can feel that evil has overwhelmed us with riots, Covid and climate change. It has felt like the writing is on the wall for us sometimes. But the hand that writes on the wall is the hand of God and with that comes the promise that evil cannot win in the end. Jesus has destroyed the power of evil and we will not be overwhelmed. It is not Iron Maiden’s Eddy that saves us but the actions of Jesus on the cross.

We often think that people won’t be interested in faith or stories from the bible. Sometimes it feels like we as a national church are embarrassed by the bible. So far Iron Maiden have had 12 million views of their video and that’s not just me

watching it a lot. So, on one level people do connect with this story of hope. In a materialist world which offers little hope in the face of evil, we have that ultimate hope that justice will be done and evil cannot win. What we have to do is hold onto that hope and people will see it in us and want to know where it comes from. We then can share that Jesus is the saviour of the world and that is why we hope.

Rev Hywel Snook


Harvest Festival at St Nicholas

This year our harvest service is on 3 October. At St Nicholas we have decided to support Crisis Centre Ministry, a Bristol-based charity. They are a non-profit Christian organisation helping some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. They provide meals at the Wild Goose drop-in centre.

Steve will be coming to our service to tell us about the work of the charity. We hope you will support them by donating items for this worthwhile cause. If you are not able to attend please contact Sue Harrison in St Nicholas family centre office on 01454 324712 to arrange a time to drop off items.

These are the most needed foods:

Instant coffee


Red lentils and other dried pulses

Baked beans and other tinned items

Tinned tomatoes, passata and tomato puree

Spices and seasonings (salt, pepper, mixed herbs, etc)

Porridge oats

Condiments - ketchup, brown sauce and mayo

Spreads - jam, peanut butter, honey, etc

Gravy granules and stock



Harvest at St James

Following a very successful Harvest Auction in aid of the St James fabric fund we shall be holding our Harvest Festival service on Sunday 3 October, as in the other churches. This year we are asking for donations of tins and packets for the Food Bank.


Wreaths and gossip

As we plan our Christmas Fair at St James on Saturday 4 December (11am-1pm), we are taking bookings for wreath-making workshops over coffee in church on Wednesday 24 and Friday 26 November starting at 10am. All materials will be provided for you to make your own wreath with expert guidance from Di Coslett.

Please contact Kathryn Mills ( or 01454 318157) or to book your place at £10, or to order a

ready-made wreath (also £10). As last year, we shall also be offering Christmas cakes and Yule logs. Pre-ordered wreaths and Christmas cakes will be available for collection at the Christmas Fair on 4th December or delivery by arrangement.


Pilgrimage to Gloucester Cathedral

Saturday 9 October, departing from St Mary’s at 9am.

In June we went on a pilgrimage to Tintern Abbey, walking through the tunnel and out into the sunshine. By popular

demand we have arranged another pilgrimage, this time from the church of Rudford to Gloucester Cathedral. The walk is about 6 miles along an easy path with no steep hills. We will stop for a picnic in one of the parks enroute and finish inside the Cathedral.

For more information or to book a place contact Hywel on 07539 069811 or


Quiz Night Friday 15 October,

7pm in St Mary’s Church

Tickets £7 including supper

Bring a team of 8 or Heather can allocate you to a team.

Supper will be served at 7pm, and the quiz will begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are available from Heather Smith: 01454 326049.

Please note this event is being held in Church to allow for greater social distancing.


St James Autumn Supper and Quiz

The St James autumn supper will take

place in Westerleigh Village Hall on

Saturday 30 October.

Tickets on sale from

Kathryn (01454 318157) or from

June (01454 3155568)

£10 per person. Bring your own drinks


Labyrinth of Lights returns for 2021

For All Souls this November a Labyrinth of Lights will be constructed in St Mary's Churchyard. It is a way of inviting people in the community to pray and remember those they have lost. Just as in 2020 we may have lost loved ones in very difficult circumstances during a year which has been extremely difficult as we have all grieved the loss of our previous way of life.

What is a Labyrinth?

A Labyrinth is a single circular path that people walk along towards the centre, and then return. As you walk you are invited to remember your loved ones and give thanks for them. The Labyrinth has been used by millions of people all over the world. They are found outdoors or on the floors of churches. The most famous one is in the Cathedral of Chartres in France. Labyrinths are far more ancient than even Chartres Cathedral, they go back to the dawn of humanity. They have been used by people to take time out and contemplate our lives in relation to God.

How to Pray the Labyrinth

You enter the labyrinth with a question or a thought and hold that thought as you walk to the centre. In Chartres they say it is like entering the womb again with your cares and concerns. Taking these concerns to heart of all things, then as you return outwards you are reborn leaving your worries at the centre. There is something beyond words in such a way of praying, a way of meeting God and receiving that care beyond imagination.

Yate Parish Labyrinth of Lights from Sunday 31 October until Wednesday 1 December

Our Labyrinth in St Mary's Churchyard will be marked out using 100 solar lamps. Each light can be dedicated to the memory of a loved one or a prayer intention you may have. Fill in a form so that we can attach your message or prayer to one of the lights. It will show that even in the darkest time of the year light still shines. 2021 like 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us; walking the labyrinth can allow us to pray without words, walking with God and allowing him to bless us.


Mothers’ Union Autumn News

As children and teachers went back to school, Mothers’ Union thought about the parents, particularly mums who would find this transition difficult. Starting school is a big milestone and many parents feel the sense of loss when their excited child skips into school. So having listened and observed Mothers’ Union came up with a plan to provide a ‘Bag of love’ for a parent of each new Reception child. We were delighted to be able to put this plan into action at St Mary’s School. Packed with tissues, chocolate, tea bag, a pair of knitted hearts and a prayer, this represents and illustrates our care for families. We also opened St Mary’s Church for a drop-in time during the week. We were there if needed.

Together with Bristol Cathedral and The Clewer Foundation, Mothers’ Union in the Bristol Diocese are marking Anti-Slavery Day with a special Evensong in the cathedral at 3.30pm on Sunday 17 October. In Yate many people have crocheted and knitted chain links. These are destined to be part of an installation in Bristol cathedral of a chain of 951 links. This represents the estimated 951 modern day slaves in the Bristol area at the moment.

Also in the Cathedral, Mothers’ Union will be participating in prayer and worship at the 12.30pm Eucharist service on a monthly basis, starting on 21 October. From 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10 December (International Human Rights Day) Mothers’ Union joins with others around the world to raise awareness of and call for an end to gender-based violence in all forms and in all societies. This is known as The 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence and there will be a global day on 27 November. Delegates from the Mothers’ Union in the Bristol Diocese will be campaigning in Central Bristol on 30 November. With repeated lockdowns due to the Pandemic, the instances of domestic abuse have soared; it is more than ever a relevant project.

In Yate plans are underway to create a forward-thinking young MU group, meeting in a relaxed environment to pray and develop self-reliance and support of one another in the upbringing of children, as was the vision of our founder Mary Sumner 145 years ago.

Our meeting dates for the rest of the year are:

21 October

18 November

16 December (may be subject to change)

Check us out at


Christmas Cakes

Do you remember Heather and Kathleen’s Christmas Cakes that were sold at St Mary’s Christmas Fayre? There is no Fayre this year, and sadly Kathleen is no longer with us, but we are offering Christmas cakes made to order. Each cake is

homemade and individually decorated. There are a variety of sizes to cater for all needs; so, get your order in today.

How to order: Go onto the website and click on the link for Christmas cakes, there you will find an order form and link for payment.

Or: collect an order form and envelope from St Mary’s Church or The Coffee Shop (Youth Centre on Sunday morning), complete and return with correct remittance (cheques made payable to ‘St Marys Church’) in the envelope provided to the Parish Office.


‘Comedy and Carols’ is coming to

St Mary’s Church In December

Come and enjoy the company of Christian Comedian

Paul Karenza and two others — for an evening of comedy

and Christmas Carols - more details to follow.

Tickets go on sale Monday 1 November

on a first come, first served basis


The Westerleigh Harvest Auction

The Westerleigh Harvest Auction will take place on Saturday 11 September in the New Inn, from 7pm. Donations of produce are invited to make this a successful event. You will also be able to see the latest plans for the church enhancement project, which is now moving on after the long lockdown hiatus.


Autumn Supper and Quiz

The St James autumn supper will take

place in Westerleigh Village Hall on

Saturday 30 October.

Tickets will be on sale in October.


The Season of Invitation

As a lad I got a lot out of attending a weekly Crusaders group in Swindon. But there was a time when illness and family

commitments meant I couldn’t go for quite a few weeks. At the end of that period, I remember feeling a great reluctance to

return, believing that the group had moved on without me and I had got left behind. I remember a couple of times telling my mother that I didn’t want to go, but then a friend got in touch and invited me to go with him. It made all the difference to me and I was again able to enjoy the fun and friendship of the group.

It is still too early to say what the impact of COVID-19 has been on the church family, but it is clear that a significant

number of ‘family’ members who used to worship regularly in our churches have not yet returned. Some may have valid health reasons for staying away for a bit longer, but others may be hesitant about returning because they are not sure what they will find or whether the church family will have moved on without them. For this reason, we have identified this autumn as a time for regrouping and re-establishing relationships with one another, and we would like your help: please invite

anyone you know who has not yet come back to church to join you for one of the special services coming up. It could make all the difference to them and prevent them from becoming lost to the church family.

To help you we have designated the next four weeks as a ‘Season of Invitation’ - there will also be a second season of

invitation through Advent when the Carol Services will be

running. During this first season there are going to be three invitation services as follows:

¨ 3 October – Harvest Festival

¨ 17 October – an invitation service called ‘Reconnecting’

¨ 31 October – Remembering those we have lost – there will be special services across the Parish for those who have lost someone special during the last 18 months and have not been able to mourn their loss properly.

If you have been to church in the past two weeks you should have been handed three invitation cards detailing these

services. Why three? Because we suspect the first will go on

your fridge door to remind you when the services are, so that will give you one card with which you can invite someone to join you and a spare should you suddenly think of someone else. We would like you to use the card to encourage someone you know to reconnect with the church family. Don’t worry if you think someone else may be inviting them – it is much better that they receive two invitations than none at all, and your

invitation could make all the difference to them.

And if you have been thinking about coming back to church but haven’t yet taken that step, please take this article as a special invitation to you. We would love to see you again after these

difficult months of the pandemic.

Ian Wallace


Christmas Tree Festival & Trail

Believe it or not, Christmas is Coming...! !

Yes, we’re getting to that time of year again …

Christmas is definitely on the way and before you know it, the decorations, trees and lights will be going up everywhere, so now is the time to register your interest in sponsoring a tree in St Mary’s Yate 2021 Christmas Tree Festival and Trail. Getting your order in early means you’ll be ahead of the crowd and you could bag yourself a bargain too — only ten rees will be displayed in the church this year, to allow for more social distancing throughout the event, and these will be available on a strictly first come, first served basis. The theme for the festival and decoration of sponsored trees is ‘A Gift at Christmas’.

The festival will run from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 December and will feature sponsored trees in the church and churchyard gardens as well as in the local street where you live.

The festival programme will include a Comedy and Carols evening, school concerts, live music and refreshments throughout.

You can sponsor a tree and learn more about the festival by contacting

Last date for sponsoring a tree is Sunday 31 October 2021.

As a community focused event we will be fundraising for St Mary’s Church Roof Project and St Peter’s


Sunday 3 October


Joel 2:21–27 1 Timothy 2:1–7 or 6.6–10 Matthew 6:25–33

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Morning Worship - live stream

6.30pm 630Praise

St Nix

10.30am Communion

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

6.30pm Evening Worship

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 10 October

Trinity 19—Green

Amos 5:6-7,10-15 Hebrews 4:12-16 Mark 10:17-31

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Communion - live stream

6.30pm 630Praise

St Nix

10.30am Morning Worship

St James

10.30am Morning Worship

St Peter

6.30pm Communion

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 17 October

Trinity 20—Green

Isaiah 53:4-12 Hebrews 5:1-10 Mark 10:35-45

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Morning Worship - live stream

6.30pm 630Praise

St Nix

10.30am Communion

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

6.30pm Evening Worship (Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 24 October

Trinity 21—Green

Jeremiah 31:7-9 Hebrews 7:23-28 Mark 10:46-52

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Communion - live stream

6.30pm 630Praise

St Nix

10.30am Morning Worship

St James

10.30am Morning Worship

St Peter

6.30pm Communion—Agincourt Presentation

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 31 October

All Saints—White

Isaiah 25:6-9 Revelation 21:1-6a John 11:32-44

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Communion- live stream

4.00pm All Souls

St Nix

10.30am Communion

St James

10.30am Communion

4.00pm All Souls

St Peter

4.00pm All Souls


Morning prayer in Yate Parish

Do you find prayer a little difficult? Would you like some inspiration? Go to the Yate Parish Facebook page to join in Morning Prayer led by our ministry team. You can watch live at 7.30am Monday to Saturday, or watch at any time later in the day. Many people have found it a great start to their day.


Weekly at St Mary’s

Thursday Communion at 10.00am


Compline @8pm

Before the lockdown happened, we had recorded the saying of Compline. We ask that each evening at 8pm we light a candle in our window and pray together for our nation using the words of the Compline service - it takes just over 5 minutes.

Visit the parish website and click on the recordings to listen; you will find the words of the service there too.


DailyHope phone line

DailyHope, a free national telephone line, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of the phone. A Church of England initiative in partnership with CONNECTIONS at Holy Trinity Claygate, and Faith in Later Life. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind; to provide comfort and spiritual nourishment to the most isolated in our society.


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